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Stay Connected During Deployment

Military mom and Guideposts blogger Edie Melson remembers how she isolated herself at home when her son was deployed, and how she realized that connection was more important.

Staying connected and not isolating when a loved one is deployed is important in a military family.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (I Peter 5:8)

I love to watch wildlife shows on television. Growing up, National Geographic magazines dotted the landscape of my parents’ home. The animals I liked best were the big cats, especially lions and tigers.

When my son was first deployed back in 2008, I found myself flipping through the channels and happened on a wildlife show. The footage was shot from a helicopter, and the narrator informed us we were watching a female lion out hunting. I watched as she approached a herd of gazelles and crouched in the grass, with only the tip of her tail twitching in the wind.

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Without apparent reason, she suddenly charged at the herd, scattering the grazing animals before her. Most took off in the same direction, but one stumbled slightly and veered to the left of the main herd. The lioness had singled him out in an instant, immediately coming between him and the group. He began to run, but the outcome was inevitable. Without the strength of the herd, he was no match for her cunning.

I flipped off the television and considered what I’d just witnessed. Earlier that morning I’d read this passage in I Peter and it nagged at me now. Was I like that gazelle, cut off, and vulnerable to Satan’s attack?

After our son had left, I’d spent more and more time at home. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I’d let the thought creep in that I shouldn’t be enjoying life while he was suffering. And that withdrawal had cut me off from my support system of friends and family. It had made me vulnerable to the feelings of bitterness and boredom.

I knew it was time to rejoin the world, sitting around feeling sorry for myself, and worrying about my soldier wasn’t going to help anyone. And I urge any one with a loved one deployed to do the same, to stay connected.

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